- Chinese protesters have targeted KFC stores to protest against the tribunal decision
- Earlier, Chinese citizens broke their iPhones over the same frustrations
- But Chinese media condemned the demonstrations and warned against breach of public order
Another American brand became the target of anti-US protester in China following the UN arbitration tribunal ruling that rejected Beijing’s historical claim to almost the entire West Philippine Sea/South China Sea via its self-imposed ‘nine-dash line’.
Earlier, Chinese citizens broke their iPhones to show their frustrations over the court ruling issued last July 12.
Of late, protesters in the cities of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province; Changsha, in Hunan Province; and Yangzhou, in Jiangsu province have set their eyes on the popular American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) calling for the boycott of its product since Sunday this week.
Hundreds of angry Chinese with large, red banners have gathered infront of dozens of KFC outlets in the country to express their anti-US and anti-Philippines sentiments.
“Boycott the U.S., Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Love the Chinese people,” one banner read.
“What you eat is KFC. What is lost is the face of our ancestors,” another said.
In one instance, staff of a training center were accused of using young school children to rally outside a KFC outlet in the country’s eastern Shandong province on Tuesday. The kids were seen in a video wearing red caps and white shirts emblazoned with China’s map while shouting the slogan: “Long live China, boycott America, China cannot lack even a dot,” – with the “dot” meaning the ‘slightest bit’.
Breach of public order
But in a surprising move, Chinese state-owned media have condemned the spontaneous protests against KFC, describing them as “obviously irrational.”
“Whether it is a spontaneous demonstration or one manipulated by other forces is still unknown,” said an editorial on Global Times, a radical newspaper identified with the Communist Party.
“Extreme nationalism does not reflect the mainstream attitude in Chinese society,” it added.
Even the People’s Daily, a staunch US critics, warned citizens against any breach of public order through violent demonstrations.
“Any action that promotes national development can rightfully be called patriotic. But so-called patriotism that willfully sacrifices public order will only bring damage to the nation and society,” it said in an opinion piece.
China continues to defy the UN court ruling and even vowed to send more patrols to the disputed waters and challenge the US by planning to continue building artificial islands in the area.
Watch a You Tube video of the protest: